14 Apr 2022

Expectations: Thoughts on Realistic vs Unrealistic Expectations


Realistic vs Unrealistic

These two words are extremely significant.

We all have expectations. We expect that our car will start up in the morning. We expect that we will get to work on time. We expect that people will treat us nice and we will do the same. We expect for life to go smooth without a hitch.

There’s a difference between being a pessimist and an optimist.

The optimist is probably what’s described in the first paragraph; whereas the pessimist would be the opposite.

” what can go wrong will go wrong”

  • Murphy’s Law

That’s pessimism at its finest.

The pessimist will say “My car probably won’t start tomorrow. I’m probably going to be late. People are not gonna treat me nice and neither am I gonna treat them because of how they treat me. Life always has a rough patch and lots of hitches.”

So who wins?

Both end up in the losers bracket.


The optimist has an unrealistic expectation of positivity, and the pessimist has an unrealistic expectation of negativity.

I personally believe that I would rather fall in line with the optimist because at least they are not worried so much.

”Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding…”

I really like that verse in the Bible because I feel like it’s the middle ground.

Understanding that life has hitches sometimes preventable, sometimes foreseeable, often times unavoidable.  That doesn’t mean we should fall in line with pessimism and expect the worst.

Having a healthy expectation, both realistic and prepared for failure, is probably the safer, and more reasonable way to view the unknown of tomorrow, the next day, the next minute, an hour from now etc.

 It makes sense that we need to have safety and defensive driving education to operate a motor vehicle.

Defensive driving training makes sense in that it prepares us for potential calamities on the road.

Doesn’t mean that we are scared out of our minds that something‘s going to happen down the highway, kinda like the optimist who runs around driving not paying attention to anything and just drives without any care in the world. They are arguably one of the most dangerous drivers on the road. Naïve to their surroundings and not prepared for actions of others, these kind of drivers can cause significant damage.

Pessimist driver is so scared out of their mind that they are too nervous to handle the road calmly and probably cause their own accidents by way of worrying themselves into an accident.

It is completely healthy to prepare oneself for a hard life.

“Do not pray for an easy life; pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

Bruce Lee said it best.

 There’s a sense of realistic expectation in that statement in that it does not inherently approach life in a naive fashion, and does not approach life in a scared of life fashion either.

It just provides focus on having a realistic outlook.

Let’s Face It – people come and go into our lives every day.

Customers, random drivers on the highway, that person behind you and Walmart, we cross a lot of paths.

I have expectations that there are people out there with bad intentions and and those people tend to reveal themselves in various ways, so be prepared for a moment when someone decides to act illicitly.

I don’t expect everyone to act bad. that’s not fair to the person who comes up to me asking for a dollar because they are literally starving. Just because there might be a guy down the road using that dollar for meth, doesn’t mean that this person is doing the same. And let’s face it, if I help a homeless person get high for a moment, am I helping them or hurting them? The answer is probably hurting them however there’s a verse in Proverbs that says:

 “6Let beer be for those who are perishing,
wine for those who are in anguish!
7Let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.”

So if I help someone avoid the misery for a moment, I’m not mad about it. I certainly don’t want to support a meth habit but sometimes people are so far gone that that’s the only relief they can get in life. I say give that dollar to God not the person asking for it.

This idea about unrealistic versus realistic expectations is a deep talk, and I could go all day about it so I probably need to shut this post down.

Hopefully this helps someone have a new perspective on expectations in general.

I guess in summary, don’t expect too much and don’t expect too little LOL

Look, no one is ever going to check off 100% of the boxes on your chart.

Every human will break your expectations in some point or other. Give people grace and humility for their humanity. Give them the same expectation you give yourself. People are going to do wrong by you, and they’re going to upset and hurt you.

When’s The last time you held a grudge against yourself?

When’s the last time that you were so angry with yourself that you wouldn’t talk to yourself for days weeks months on end?

Trust me, I’ve done enough stupid stuff That are contrary to my own personal expectations of myself that I probably deserve to not talk to myself for extended periods of time or whatever, shut the door in my face lol – just generally be mad at myself, but that’s just not how we work on ourselves.

No one has ever let me down as much as I’ve let myself down.

Yet, I give myself a pass.

Doesn’t it seem rational, that I should give the same pass to other humans?

Isn’t it more realistic that people are just automatically going to fail because that’s just the human condition?

So, having a realistic outlook on life, is so much better than being stuck in an unrealistic outlook that sees only pessimism or only optimism.

I will tell you guys this, if I had a chance to pick I would pick the optimist because at least they are oblivious to the negativity around them.






Write a Reply or Comment